German Machine Vision Industry Has Doubled in Last 10 Years

September 9, 2018

In 2017 the German machine vision industry achieved a record turnover of €2.6 billion, an increase of 17% compared with the previous year.

Turnover in the industry has therefore doubled within ten years. This is reported by the VDMA Machine Vision, sector group of the Mechanical Engineering Industry Association. According to VDMA Machine Vision, the reason for the boom is that machine vision technology "made in Germany“ is not only being used to an increasing extent in global automation competition in traditional sectors of industry, but is also conquering entirely new industries. The industry-driven platform expects growth to continue in 2018 with a 7% increase in turnover to €2.8 billion.

This development is also being felt by Messe Stuttgart as the organizer of VISION, a world trade fair for machine vision. VISION has been expanding continuously for years and will also again break the records from 2016 this year: for example, the amount of rented exhibition space in 2016 rose for the first time to more than 11,000 square meters and will increase again in 2018 to over 12,000 square meters. The gallery in the L-Bank Forum (Hall 1) will therefore also contain exhibition stands for the first time. The number of exhibitors, i.e. more than 460, will also beat the record of 440 companies from 2016. Around 25% of exhibitors will take part in VISION 2018 for the first time, a very pleasing aspect for Messe Stuttgart and also an expression of the dynamic development of the machine vision industry.

Trend Towards Internationalization Continue

The international structure of VISION is a clear indication of its status as the leading world trade fair. In 2016, 57% of exhibitors came from abroad while the proportion this year will exceed 60%. A continuing trend towards internationalization is also confirmed by the latest figures from the German Engineering Federation (VDMA): whereas the turnover of the machine vision industry on the German market grew by 8% in 2017, exports rose by 23%. The two most important export countries were still China and North America which, together, make up 26% of the total turnover in the German machine vision industry.

"As a driving force for Industry 4.0, machine vision is now indispensable in modern factories and has long been part of our everyday life," said Dr. Olaf Munkelt. "Whether traffic management systems, autonomous driving, rubbish separation, recycling or health care, machine vision make them all possible. Embedded vision in combination with deep learning is stimulating additional growth."

This estimation is also shared by Florian Niethammer, VISION project manager: "The trend topics in the industry will also naturally be some of the focal points of VISION. Industry experts, but also trade visitors who have hitherto had few affinities with machine vision, will therefore have the opportunity to be inspired by practical examples, discuss their challenges and requirements with experts, and obtain ideas for innovative applications in their own work.“

For more information, visit vdma.org/vision.